Massachusetts: Plant Hardiness Zones, Climate & Soil Conditions

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Massachusetts is a state located in the northeastern United States.

The state’s economy is diverse, with agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, and tourism all playing important roles.

Massachusetts farms produce a wide variety of products, including dairy products, vegetables, fruits, nursery plants, and flowers.

The state’s farmers take advantage of the temperate climate and long growing season to produce crops that are sold both domestically and internationally.

The fishing industry is also important to Massachusetts, with the state’s waters yielding lobster, scallops, clams, haddock, and cod.

US Plant Hardiness Zone

Before we move forward, let us understand the US Plant Hardiness Zone Map of the state.

Plant Hardiness Zone Map for Massachusetts

Climate

Massachusetts has a mainly humid continental climate with warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters.

Southeastern coastal areas show shades of a humid subtropical climate with relatively mild winters.

Summers have comfortable temperatures between 70- 85°F at the peak of July.

Winter temperatures vary significantly across regions, with five to fifteen days of subzero temperatures in the western mountains. 

Precipitation

The average annual rainfall in Massachusetts ranges from 40 inches along the coast to 50 inches in the western division.

Thunderstorms bring local precipitation in the summer, while winter storms bring icy rain and snow.

Snowfall is heavy in the winter and ranges from 25 inches over Cape Cod to 80 inches in the west.

At least one snowstorm in the winter registers greater than 5 inches of snowfall.

Soil Type

The map that follows shows the ecoregions of the state.

Now let us see the soil order distribution across the state.

Soil Order Of Massachusetts

Soil / Sub OrderLocationCharacteristics
Inceptisols/Aquepts and UdeptsAquepts in some parts of the northeastern coastal zone while Udepts are found all over the state1. Aquepts are wet Inceptisols.
2. Udepts are mainly freely drained Inceptisols that have a udic or perudic moisture regime.
Spodosols/OrthodsIn the northeastern highlands.1. Orthods are the relatively freely drained Spodosols with a moderate organic carbon accumulation in the spodic horizon.
Entisols/Arents, Orthents and PsammentsArents and Orthents in the northeastern coastal zone while Psamments in the Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens.1. Arents do not have diagnostic horizons because they have been deeply mixed by plowing, spading, or other methods of moving by humans.
2. Orthents on recent erosional surfaces.
3.
Psamments are sandy soils.
Histosols/HemistsIn the northeastern coastal zone and Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens1. Hemists are the wet Histosols in which the organic materials are moderately decomposed.